03.12.2023 | Sort of a Recap

Yesterday was the 2nd anniversary of my mum passing away. Not a cheery intro for a weekly recap, sorry, but it is what it is. I spent some time with my brothers, drove to the cemetery with one and all in all just felt a bit weird. Sad, melancholy, a bit detached. I know or at least I think that I should be a bit more introspective and ponder or maybe even write down how this makes me feel and why. But yesterday I shied away from with by being busy doing other stuff. Reading. Doodling. Anything but think and feel. Maybe I’ll feel more comfortable sitting with my own thoughts and emotions today. This post is a tiny start.

At the Garden Centre | We wanted to commemorate the anniversary with laying a wreath or some flowers so I drive to one of the fancier garden centres yesterday morning. I remember having been there with my mum at least once. I did not remember it being sort of like IKEA. It had a cafe, which I knew about. At various spots among the plants and pots they had stalls for local charities, which was a nice touch. Once I had found a wreath to my liking I followed the arrows painted on the floor to find the check-out and exit.

Photo of a shop floor with lot of christmas decorations and livingroom and kitchen stuff
At the “Garden” Centre

By the time I made it to the checkout I was not just carrying the wreath, but also a box of tealights and a new mug. If I had picked up a shopping basket at the entry I probably also would have bought some kitchen utensils. At the garden centre. Strange, strange world.

Work | The week at work was slightly dominated by IT problems. Due to the growing risk of hacker attacks and such, IT announced that there will a new VPN / 2FA setup from December 4th onwards. Fine by me. I could not log into work from home on Tuesday, November 28th. When I called IT they told me that the old VPN was already shut down (for me). I don’t want to go into details of the pointless conversation I had with the IT guy. I had to change my plans for the day and drive to work. With the IT person in my team and another contact with IT HQ I got access to the new VPN / 2FA within few hours again and thus was able to return to my regular work from home / office schedule. It was still a bit annoying.

Work as such is going well enough. I finally got one of the big dreaded tasks out of the way. Mostly at least. Big chunks. There has been a bit of miscommunication within the project I’m coordinating, and of course I right away wondered, what I did do wrong or where I dropped the ball. Work is the part of my life where I still struggle the most with self-esteem and all that stuff I went to therapy for. It’s so much better than it used to be, but still a struggle for me sometimes. I’m working on it. Pun intended.

The upside at work are the new staff. Not just are they really motivated and capable, it just really now becomes clear how many of the sub-projects we just let lay dormant, because none of us had the time to really work on them. Now we do have two (and since Friday even three) new people on our team to do exactly that and it’s marvellous.

Winter is here | On Monday night I was too lazy to put a cover on my car’s windscreen, because I thought I only need the car on Tuesday afternoon when the predicted snow and ice from the morning will have melted. Yeah, that obviously didn’t work out as well as I had planned, because… see above. Anyway, it’s time to bring out scarfs and gloves and knitted caps and I’m (mostly) fine with that.

Photo of the upper half of my head (glasses upwards), wearing the FTHC cap
My favourite knitted cap

Health issues | I spent quite a bit of time in at the dentist these past two weeks. Some was scheduled dental surgery. Last step of the implant, first steps of the dental bridge. I had some unexpected tooth ache and was already considering going back as an emergency before my next appointment. Then the temporary crown of one abutment teeth got loose, so I had to go back anyway. They put it back in place and told me that some tooth ache is normal as the temporary crown doesn’t cover the tooth 100% and thus there could be some painful sensation. It has mostly passed now, so I hope that really was alll that it was. Back at the dentist for the final step on Thursday.

I also actually need to squeeze in a visit to the emergency surgery hour (8-9) at the urologist to have some results checked from the general check-up at my GP in September. Even after two rounds of antibiotics there is still lot of E coli in my urien. TMI? Sorry, not sorry. You’d expect this to present as a proper bladder infection, but I don’t have any of the symptoms. The urologist practice told me to not make an appointment and just come to the emergency hour. Which always mean that you’ll spend a few hours in the practice. And that’s hard to do when you have to either drive to work unexpectedly or make sure you call the dental surgery to inquire about when you come in for the dental emergency.

Spending a good chunk of my week either at a medical practice or on the phone with one: Is this what it will be from now – late 40s – on? Help 🙂

Social Media | I still don’t miss the social media apps I deleted from my phone. Go me! I don’t even check most of them via the browser every day now. Instagram (with stories and reels which sometimes are a few minutes long) is still where I spend most of my time on socials these days and I’m mostly fine with that.

“I Don’t Know, I Changed My Mind” | I’m still horrified by the huge numbers of dead civilians in Gaza. I’m still horrified by what the hostages and their families are going through. I’m still horrified by the violence from settlers in the West Bank. I’m still horrified by the tiny bits I sometime read (by chance often) about what the terrorists did to the families and people in the Kibbutz. This afternoon I listened to an interesting (first half, the second half only available by subscription, sadly) episode of the “Making Sense” podcast from neuroscientist, philosopher Sam Harris: “Gaza & Global Order” – A Conversation with Yuval Noah Harari” . Harari spoke my mind, when he explained that everyone – person, nation – can be victim and perpetrator at the same time and that we have to (learn to) live with this ambiguity. They also touched upon an aspect that I sometimes seem to forget at the moment. It basically all comes down to religious extremism. First and foremost Hamas is an islamic terror organisation. For them it’s not about Gaza, it’s not even mainly about Palestine. It’s about their violent fight against other religions – here Judaism. Harari also criticises the religious extremists in Israel, who are justifing the atrocities in the West Bank.

Doodling | This week I’ve been doing quite a lot of doodling inspired by a few more accounts I follow on Instagram now. Sometimes – like yesterday on the anniversary – it definitely was a means to stop my thoughts or not think at all, maybe not in the most healthy way. All better than booze and drugs though, right? I didn’t like most of what I created yesterday, because I obviously was still too fidgety and impatient. But as I’m only doing this for fun and to relax and don’t want to win any prize that’s fine.

When I started with activity a few months ago and had bought my first batch of set of different pens I did a handwritten pen / colour etc scheme. A few days ago I saw a printed and then filled out version somewhere (on Instagram probably). A neat idea, I thought and today I finally made my own and started filling it in. An easy activity to keep doing while watching TV later today. Nerdy? Maybe? I don’t care…

A table printed on paper and filled out with various samples of pens colours and styes
Sorting all my doodling stationery

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